Winning an invitation to perform and parade in this year’s Pearl Harbor Memorial Parade left cheerleader Meghan Webster jumping for joy – and with a strong sense of pride and accomplishment.
This rare opportunity for Poland Regional High School’s new freshman also includes a tour of Pearl Harbor, with stops at the USS Arizona Memorial Visitor Center and USS Missouri – offering all athletes a clear understanding of what President Franklin Roosevelt meant when he said, “A day that will live in infamy.”
“I worked hard for this,” Webster said. “I feel like I’ve accomplished a lot.”
But the price for this once-in-a-lifetime experience – which will take Meghan and her mother, Kristi Logan, on a 10,164-mile round trip to Honolulu, Hawaii, for the December 7 Memorial Parade – is around $6,000.
The family organizes yard sales and bakes and Created a GoFundMe page to help cover exorbitant costs.
Webster, who also plans to play softball for Poland, has been a cheerleader for six years, with her mother coaching her for four. Webster calls cheerleading his passion.
“The other Auburn Wreckers coach is Crystal Kirk, who I worked with,” Logan said. “Additionally, Meghan is taking tumbling lessons through Element under Brianne Daigle. They have both dedicated many hours to Meghan’s success.
Logan was a Poland Regional High School cheerleader herself and now works for a delivery company as well as a cheer coach with the Auburn Department of Recreation Parks — which explains Webster’s passion for the game. sport. She added that a visit to Pearl Harbor to honor these service members – who fought and gave the “last full measure of devotion” – is a two-for-one deal.
“She will walk in the parade and she will do a special performance for the nation’s heroes before the parade,” Logan said. “I also believe that she will be touring the USS Missouri in Pearl Harbor. It’s not just an encouraging trip; it’s also a history trip.”
DREAMS COME TRUE
Webster attended a recent National Cheerleading Association camp at Husson University, where she won the Top American Cheerleading award — which created the opportunity to perform and march in the Pearl Harbor Memorial Parade.
Logan explained why his daughter got the invite.
“Athletes can be nominated for amazing jumps, great tumbling or leadership skills. And what happens after that is the last day of camp, every kid that’s nominated goes solo, and if they get a score of 23 or more, they’re on the team and they’re eligible to perform at different events, and Pearl Harbor happens to be one of those events.
“Meghan not only made the (All-American) team with a high score of over 23, she had the highest score of all camp.”
Webster was on a mission to prove himself at camp.
“I made All-American last year,” said Webster, who will represent the regional high school in Poland. “So when I wasn’t in the team at that time, I felt like I could improve things. So I worked harder and harder for that.
Webster went on to write on his GoFundMe page, “I’ve encountered mistakes, falls, a few small injuries, and at times I feel completely defeated, but my love for encouragement has never let me give up. Winning this award gives me the opportunity to travel to Hawaii and perform and march in the “Remembering The Past and Celebrating The Future” Memorial Parade which marks the 81st anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor.
“Not only can I perform and do what I love, but I can also perform in front of some of our country’s heroes! To say I am honored is an understatement.
Webster will receive his pep-up routine via email two weeks before he leaves for Hawaii. She will also have a few days of training with the team after her arrival.
“Honestly, I couldn’t be prouder,” Logan said of her daughter. “Ever since she was little, clapping has always been one of my passions. It’s worth it just to see her work. For her to be recognized, it’s a huge accomplishment and it makes me soar. tears in my eyes just thinking about her.
“She always says, ‘I can’t wait to go. It’s going to be so much fun.’ She’s just invested in it like I am. It’s just great to see her pushing herself to be better. She’s not your average teenager, I can tell you that. In her spare time, she takes tumbling lessons. She is always outside on her fall track, which makes her better.
Besides the parade, Webster will meet his teammates and learn about the history of Pearl Harbor. She said she was a little nervous about taking the long trip, but she’s also very excited.
“(I) just want to thank my mom for most of that because if she hadn’t pushed me as hard as she does, this probably wouldn’t have happened without her,” Webster said.
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